Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell looked back at the progress of the first five years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and looked ahead to the third year of open enrollment which begins just over a month from now. The review of the ACA’s progress looked at new data available from the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) which shows that as a result of the ACA, 17.6 million people have health coverage they didn’t have before. Additionally, the unisured rate dropped to 12.6%. This additional coverage is mainly the result of three provisions in the ACA: coverage through the marketplaces, Medicaid expansion and allowing children to stay on their parents’ plan up to age 26.
The Secretary also looked at the upcoming open enrollment and reaching the approximately 10.5 million uninsureds who are eligible for coverage through the marketplaces. She also referenced a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation which says that of those unisureds, about 3 in 5 do not know about the tax credits available or are unsure how they work. All of this underlies the importance for consumer outreach and education in Year 3 of open enrollment.